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Nature Coast Enterprise Expressway Submission

30 October 2009

State Highway 1 Expressway Submission Submission authored by Enterprise Kapiti Horowhenua Incorporated Trading as Nature Coast Enterprise Economic Development Agency (EDA) and Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for the Nature Coast Region

Thank you for the opportunity to submit on the proposed expressway options from MacKays Crossing to Otaki as complied by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA).

At the outset, Nature Coast Enterprise (NCE) is supportive of State Highway 1 (SH1) between Levin and Wellington Airport being identified as a road of national significance (RoNS). It is agreed that improved road infrastructure will bring long term economic benefits to the region through reduced congestion, more efficient journeys for people and freight (local and through traffic) and will provide opportunities for commercial and residential developments in the future. Improved linkages between Palmerston North and Wellington will be immensely useful to businesses of the region as they develop their growth strategies.

NCE has taken a 30 to 50 year view in the preparation of this submission. The Economic Profile of the Nature Coast in 2008 (as authored by BERL in March 2009) confirms the region has a growing population of close to 77,000, 21,200 full-time equivalent (FTEs) jobs in 7,740 businesses which contributed $1.86 billion to regional GDP. The Nature Coast region has performed well over the last 10 years with exceptionally high growth achieved in GDP, GDP per capita and employment relative to national performance. Sectors of importance for the region include retail and distribution, tourism, social services, professional services, construction, primary and manufacturing.

NCE does not endorse any of the three options put forward by NZTA and through this submission it sets-out an approach that we believe will improve the connection of communities and allows for strategic road development by the Government in the future.

NCE is supportive of an eastern corridor expressway that follows the existing rail alignment where practical; the immediate construction of a two-lane variable speed (50-70km) Western Link Road (WLR) from Raumati South to Peka Peka, that is fully integrated with the surrounding centres and environment and that is previously supported by NZTA at a 90% subsidy; and improved electrified rail network between Waikanae and Palmerston North. In addition, full north and south bound interchanges are imperative at Paraparaumu (at or near to Ihakara Street or Kapiti Road) and Waikanae (at or near to Te Moana Road or marginally north of Waikanae) to ensure efficient business access. There may also need to be consideration for an interchange at Te Horo. An Otaki bypass is supported with full north and south bound interchanges at either end of the township for local residents and destination visitors.

ENDS

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